BWF016 - White belt life lessons


I can still remember my very first martial arts lesson as clear as day. 

I remember how I felt, even what I wore and what we did in the class.

Even then, while obviously feeling like a fish out of water, I felt that finally I had found where I was meant to be.

What I was meant to be doing.

Since my first karate lesson I have again started as a beginner in different martial arts styles learning Muay Thai kickboxing and more recently, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

On each occasion of becoming a white belt again in a new style I have been reminded of some the lessons I learnt as a white belt for the very first time and from which everyone can learn.

Be Humble

There is always something new to learn. You can never learn it all.

This is just one of the reasons why martial arts is a way of life. 

Without humility, you can never learn anything. By approaching your training with a humble mindset, you are open to listening, taking instruction and applying the lessons. 

No matter what the style you train in, in any great system of martial arts you should find that even those at the top who have trained for many many years, are the most humble. They know that even with all they have learned there is always more to learn and understand. 

Being humble also allows you to serve others. It enables you to offer empathy, compassion and friendship to those in need. As a martial arts instructor being humble importantly allows you to connect with your students at their level and inspire them to be their best.

Accordingly, be humble in life. Always there is something new to learn or someone you can help.

Be Respectful

Respect is something often found lacking in society today but is an integral part of any martial arts culture and should be an essential part of life.

Respect for others, respect for elders, respect for those of higher rank, respect for yourself.

As a white belt in any good martial arts organisation you are instinctively respectful of all those around you, respectful of their rank, their knowledge.

This is something that is earned, that is given as the result of one's actions, by setting an example, by striving to be your best. 

As you progress with your training you find yourself earning respect but remaining respectful as with each step along your journey, you have a greater appreciation for what you have learned and what there still is to learn.

Through life's journey then, respect those worthy of respect and act yourself so as to inspire respect.

Be Grateful

So many things to be grateful for in life.

As a white belt you are grateful for having teachers who inspire you and give up their time to pass on their knowledge. Grateful for others to train with and learn from, grateful that your body is whole and you are able to train to be fit and strong.

A daily gratitude practice is something to work towards as it can life your life above the everyday, provide happiness and peace, help you achieve your goals and enable you to help others those less fortunate.


Being positive is always important in life and allows you to approach any situation with confidence. 

As a white belt, everything is new and different for a while. The training space, the people you train with, the rules to follow, how to do things.

Approaching any new situation in a positive manner helps set you up for success. Being positive also helps deal with feelings of nervousness and anxiety in new or different surroundings.

There is nothing to lose in attempting something new. By being positive you can more easily absorb the new information, attempt things you might never have done before and grow as a person.


Achieving any goal requires commitment and diligent application.

As a white belt, your instructors will usually explain that to ensure you get the most from your training you should attend classes at least twice a week. 

Learning a martial art is no different from anything in life like learning a musical instrument or learning to ride a bike or learning to cook.

Commitment to your learning and consistent practice will see you achieve your goal whatever this might be.

Be Awesome today!